Recovery After the Boudiccan Rebellion

The Boudiccan Rebellion and subsequent genocide by the Romans had a lasting impact on Britain and its people. The Romans learned that suppressing the conquered people would lead to rebellion and unrest. To govern effectively, they had to work with the Britons and show them the benefits of being part of the Roman Empire.

Gradually, the Britons were won over to the Roman way of life, and by 63 AD, Britain had a new governor, Trebellius Maximus. Tribal attitudes were abandoned, and the benefits of peace and civilization were recognized.

Rebuilding British Towns and Cities

During this time, numerous new towns emerged, and existing towns saw the construction of new buildings. Funding for these constructions came directly from Rome, to avoid burdening the Britons with additional taxes.

Bath, located in the western part of Britain, was built about fifteen years following the rebellion. This was the construction of a complex of baths and temples. The design of this complex incorporated elements of the native style with the aim of promoting closer relations between the Romans and the Britons.

Londinium recovered quickly. A letter from A.D. 62, referring to a consignment of goods to be transported from Verulamium to London, indicating that the market at Londinium had been swiftly rebuilt after its destruction by the rebels.

Colchester and its Temple was rebuilt, and the city had wall built around it. Although, at this time the Roman administration took this opportunity to move the capital south to the better-placed Londinium.

Verulamium was rebuilt on an even grander scale and by this time was granted the high status of Municipium.

Changes in the attitude of Roman Rule

Tacitus tells us of a speech supposedly given by Petillius Cerialis during the European civil wars of 68-69 AD, which shows the change in attitude of Roman rule.

Roman generals and officers originally set foot in your country and the rest of Gaul from no motives of ambition, but at the call of your ancestors, who were worn almost to ruin by dissension. The Germans whom one party summoned to their aid had forced the yoke of slavery on allies and enemies alike. You know how often we fought against the Cimbri and the Teutons, with what infinite pains and with what striking success our armies have undertaken German wars. All that is notorious. And to-day it is not to protect Italy that we have occupied the Rhine, but to prevent some second Ariovistus making himself master of All Gaul. Do you imagine that Civilis and his Batavi and the other tribes across the Rhine care any more about you than their ancestors cared about your fathers and grandfathers? The Germans have always had the same motives for trespassing into Gaul—their greed for gain and their desire to change homes with you. They wanted to leave their marshes and deserts, and to make themselves masters of this magnificently fertile soil and of you who live on it. Of course they use specious pretexts and talk about liberty. No one has ever wanted to enslave others and play the tyrant without making use of the very same phrases.

Tyranny and warfare were always rife throughout the length and breadth of Gaul, until you accepted Roman government. Often as we have been provoked, we have never imposed upon you any burden by right of conquest, except what was necessary to maintain peace. Tribes cannot be kept quiet without troops. You cannot have troops without pay; and you cannot raise pay without taxation. In every other respect you are treated as our equals. You frequently command our legions yourselves: you govern this and other provinces yourselves. We have no exclusive privileges. Though you live so far away, you enjoy the blessings of a good emperor no less than we do, whereas the tyrant only oppresses his nearest neighbours. You must put up with luxury and greed in your masters, just as you put up with bad crops or excessive rain, or any other natural disaster. Vice will last as long as mankind. But these evils are not continual. There are intervals of good government, which make up for them. You cannot surely hope that the tyranny of Tutor and Classicus would mean milder government, or that they will need less taxation for the armies they will have to raise to keep the Germans and Britons at bay. For if the Romans were driven out—which Heaven forbid—what could ensue save a universal state of intertribal warfare? During eight hundred years, by good fortune and good organization, the structure of empire has been consolidated. It cannot be pulled down without destroying those who do it. And it is you who would run the greatest risk of all, since you have gold and rich resources, which are the prime causes of war. You must learn, then, to love and foster peace and the city of Rome in which you, the vanquished, have the same rights as your conquerors

Gaius Cornelius Tacitus – The Histories, Book Four: LXXIII